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AP GoPo - Elections and Campaigns

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Conor Thomas

on 5 October 2015

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Transcript of AP GoPo - Elections and Campaigns

AP GoPo - Elections and Campaigns
US vs. Europe
Individuals decide to run and are responsible for all aspects of campaign
The party decides if you run
Presidential and Congressional Differences
Presidential races are more competitive than congressional.
Fewer people vote in congressional elections.
Members of Congress can do more and take more credit.
Members of Congress can deny responsibility. The president cannot.
Incumbent – the person who currently holds office
Coattails – the help a popular president can offer a congressional candidate (ex. Reagan)
Running for President
Get mentioned – be “electable”
Make time – years
Money – this takes time too – very complicated
Organization – fundraisers, lawyers, pollsters, advisers, volunteers, etc.
Strategy - tone, theme, timing, targets
Congressional Campaigns
Easiest way to get elected – be the incumbent! Over 90% win!
Congressional districts play a huge role in who gets elected
At-large, multi-member,
single member
Primary vs. General Campaigns
Primaries and caucuses determine the candidates.
General elections determine who will serve in office.
Caucuses – Iowa in early February
Iowa is not representative of the average voter
Presidential candidates get money from public and private.
Congressional candidates ONLY get private money.
The federal government matches all presidential candidates' money collected from donors over $250.
Congressional candidates receive most of their money form individual donors.
Communicating with Voters
Television – paid ads or free news bits
Statistics indicate TV has little effect on voting
Television debates are helpful to the challenger – not the incumbent
Direct mail can be narrowly focused on certain groups
New Rules
McCain - Feingold:
$2,000 Individuals to Candidates per election
$75,000 total to parties and Candidates
$25,000 National Parties to Candidates
$5,000 PACs to Candidates
$10,000State/Local Parties to Candidates
“Issue Ads” by parties heavily regulated
Soft Money
Doesn't Matter:
VP nominee
Detail 3
Political Action Committees (PACs)
These are committees that are set up by, and represent, a corporation, union, or any other special-interest group.
Can give up to $5,000 to a candidate, whereas individuals can only give $2,000.
Malapportionment – congressional districts of very unequal size
Gerrymandering – drawing a district boundary in an unnatural way to help a candidate win
Wesberry v. Sanders
(1964) - “one person one vote”
Sophomore surge – newly elected members earn more votes in reelection
In Office
Legislators are able to do more for their constituents
Less tied to party leaders
What should they be?
A delegate? – do what their district wants/needs
Or a trustee? – uses their judgment to make decisions for their district
Clothespin vote: neither candidate is appealing so the voter must choose from candidates that “stink”
Position issue: the candidates oppose each other and hope to get those who agree with them to vote for them
Valence issue: the candidates agree on the issue because the voters all agree on the issue
Closed primary – you must declare a party in advance of the election
Open primary – you decide on the voting day which party ticket you want to vote from
Blanket primary – you can vote from candidates from either party
Preconvention Period:
Raise at least $100,000 in amount of not more than $250 with $5,000 from 20 different states
This qualifies for matching funds
Presidential Nominees usually receive over $55 million
FECA (1971)
Required disclosure of all donors giving more than $100
Encouraged the creation of PACs to get around the Taft-Harley Act limit on gifts from corporations and unions
Buckley v. Valeo
(1976) “money is speech” opened enormous loopholes
Up to $1,000 to a federal candidate in each primary and general election
Up to $5,000 per year to PACs
Up to $20,000 per year to a National party committee
TOTAL contributions to candidates from a single person - $25,000 per year
PACs $5,000 per federal candidate
PACs contributed $258 million in 2002
The Federal Election Campaign Act 1971 has reshaped presidential races by limiting contributions and has provided some public financing during the nomination stage.
It also provides complete public financing of the election. Provided that the candidate refuses all other contributions
Why don't Dems always win, since more people identify as Democratic?
Dems are less firmly tied to their party.
Demographics that support Dems often vote less.
Republicans have recently done better at attracting independents.
Prospective Voting- looking forward
Retrospective Voting- looking back
more economic
The Campaign: Does it matter?
party loyalty strengthens
voters watch how candidates handle pressure
character and values can be judged
Winning Coalition:
Loyalty=what groups voted Dem or Rep.
Importance=% that group voted for each party
Full transcript